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During 1950's in Punjab (combined Punjab including Haryana) the curriculum of science and mathematics was different for the girls studying in the schools.

Arithmetic and household was a subject for the girls only whereas the boys studied algebra and geometry.

In place of physics and chemistry, the girls were asked to study general science which was a different part of the school syllabus meant for the girls only.

Recommendations made by different commissions and committees on Women Education have helped in one way or the other to improve the plight of the women. It is undoubtedly right that much more needs to be done in this direction.

Here, below are enlisted the recommendations made from time to time

(A) Recommendations of University Education Commission (1948-49)


This Commission studied problems of women education. Then the Commission made the following recommendations:

1. Emenities of Life : The ordinary amenities of life should be provided for women in colleges which were originally planned for men but to which women are being admitted in large number.

2. Increase in Educational Opportunities : Educational opportunities should be increased for women.

3. Educational Guidance : Intelligent educational guidance should be provided to girl students to have clear view of their real educational interests.

4. Common Elements in Education : There are certain common elements in education which can be introduced in education for men and women simultaneously. But at the same time education should not be identical in all respects as is usually found.


5. Normal Places for Women Students : College programme should be so designed that it will make women students to see their normal society, both as a citizen and as a woman and to prepare for it.

6. Courtesy and Social Responsibility : Men should show greater courtesy and social responsibilities in the mixed colleges.

7. Co-Educational Institutions : Co-educational institutions should be set up with as much thought and consideration given to the life needs of women as to those of men.

8. Equal Salaries : Women teachers should be paid the same salaries as men teachers for equal work.

(B) Recommendations of National Committee on Women Education (1958)


This committee was appointed by Ministry of Education in 1958 under the Chairpersonship of Srimati Durgabai Deshmukh. It recommended the following points for women education:

1. Closing the Gap : The existing gap between the education of men and women should be closed in as short a time as possible.

2. National and State Council for Education on Girls and Women : National and State Council should be set up at National and State level for girls and women education.

3. Estimate of the Woman-Power Requirement : The Planning Commission should make estimates of the woman-power requirements for the Five Year Plans


4. Securing Co-operation : Co-operation of all semi-official organisations, local bodies, voluntary organizations, teacher's organisations and public should be enlisted.

5. Universal Enrolment of Girls : The education of girls should aim at universal enrolment. This aim should be achieved by 1976 in the age group of 6:11 years. By 1981 the aim should be achieved in the age group of 11-14 years.

The Commission also made other recommendations such as:

(i) Establishment of technical institutions for girls.


(ii) Girls students belonging to backward and isolated areas should be provided with facilities of free transport and residential facilities.

(iii) There should be provision of scholarships.

(iv) Co-education should be encouraged

(v) Publicity programmes should be strengthened.

(vi) Seminars on women education should be organized in order to encourage the various efforts being done in the field.

(C) National Council for Women Education

An important outcome of the recommendation of National Committee on Women Education was the setting up of the National Council for Women Education in 1959 by the Ministry of Education.

The major functions of the council are as under:


1. To advise Government on education of girls at school level and of adult women.

2. To suggest policies, programmes, targets and priorities for the expansion and improvement of women education.

3. To suggest means for educating the public in favour of women education

4. To assess the progress achieved from time to time in the field of women education.

5. To recommend the collection of data on various problems related to women education

6. To recommend research projects and seminars on various aspects related to women education.

(D) Recommendations on Smt. Hansa Mehta Committee


There were various problems related to curricula for boys and girls at all stages of education. To examine these problems carefully National Council for Women Education formed Smt. Hansa Mehta Committee.

The committee made the following recommendations for the differentiation of curricula between boys and girls:

1. At Primary Stage : There should be no difference in curricula. Simple needle work, music and education should be introduced both for boys and girls.

2. At Middle Stage : During middle stage minimum course of general education should be provided on the basis of common curriculum for both sides. Even a core curriculum of Home Science should be included at this stage. There should not be any provision of vocational courses at middle stage. There should be a provision of craft education according to local conditions. There should be provision for more than one craft subjects.

3. Secondary Stage : At this stage craft or handwork should be made an integral part of the general course. Intensive vocational courses should be provided to give maximum opportunities for explanation. Subjects like Home Science, Fine Arts, Interior decoration, etc. which are quite popular with girls should be introduced at secondary stage. While introducing these courses there should not be any compulsion for girl students to choose these vocational courses. Girls should be encouraged to study Science and Mathematics. This is a stage of adolescence. Lots of curiosities go on in their minds.

Sex education should be imparted by mature, competent and well-trained teachers at this stage.


4. University Stage : Universities should provide various courses to meet tha special needs of women and girls. The universities should review these courses periodically so that they meet the special requirement of girls and women

(E) Recommendations of Bhakatvatsalam Committee (1963).

National Council for Women Education appointed another committee named Bhakatvatsalam Committee in 1963

The committee was convinced that it was only through a willing, educated and informed public that any progress could be made at all. There has to be a sense of partnership and shared responsibility between official and voluntary agencies.

There are certain fields for the cooperation of the public such as:

1. Establishing private schools

2. Putting up of school buildings.

3. Contributing voluntary labour for construction of such buildings.

4. Helping in providing suitable accommodation for teachers and students, particularly in areal areas


5. Encouraging married women to take up part-time teaching in village schools.

6. Participating in educative propaganda to tackle the traditional prejudices against girl's education

7. Supplying mid-day meals

8. Supplying free text-books and cutting materials to the needy.

State's Responsibilities

1. School improvement conferences;

2. Seminars;

3. Radio talks, audio-visual aids and distribution of other material;

4. Assisting voluntary, welfare and other organisation engaged in the field of education of girls and women.

Bhaktavatsalam Committee recommended many ways and means for the popularisation of women education:


1. Schools in All Areas : State should provide facilities to set up a primary school in population of 300. The establishment of secondary schools should be planned in such a way as to cater to the needs of these primary and middle schools. Schools should be started in hilly and isolated areas also.

2. Pre-Primary Schools : Pre-Primary schools should be attached to Primary schools even in rural areas.

3. Appointment of Women Teachers : The question of shortage of teachers is bound to remain for a long tine. Therefore, more and more women teachers should be recruited. Women teachers should be recruited in Primary schools, secondary as well as in mixed schools. A school staff by women will develop great confidence in parents and they will send their children in mixed institution

4. Special Incentives : Financial incentives like allowances for hilly, isolated or any other specific backward rural reas should be given to teachers.


5. Courses for Adult Women : Condensed courses should be organised on a large scale for adult women, particularly from rural areas.

6. Women Teachers Posting : They should be posted in or near their own villages.

7. Increased Training Facilities: Training facilities should be made available in each State.

8. Free Education for Girls : Central assistance should be provided to State Governments so that education of giris is provided free of cost. Unless this incentive is given, it will be very difficult for the poor parents to afford girls education.

9. Special Funds for Girls Education : The State Governments should make all reasonable provision for the advancement of girls education and earmark such funds.

10. Support from Community : If resources are limited State Governments may take the help of local resources for the purpose of meeting full requirement for the advancement of girls education.


11. Compulsory Education Act: State should introduce compulsory Education Act where it does not exist. At the same the State Govt. should provide sufficient incentives and carry on propaganda to attract all children to school.

12. Double Shift: The double shift system may be tried as a temporary system in such areas where schools have lack of accommodation facility as compared to the rush of admission

13. Flexibility of School Hours : The committee agrees that the adjustment of school hours and school holidays to seasonal requirements in some places should be introduced. It will be a helpful concession to parents who would otherwise not be in a position to spare the children for attending classes. Moreover, it will be helpful until parents and guardians are educated so that they will be able to understand the need of proper schooling for their girls and boys.

14. Curriculum : While the curriculum can be the same for boys and girls at the primary and middle stages, provision should be made for offering of elective subjects which would be of special interest to girls.

15. School Improvement Conferences : The school improvement conferences particularly in less advanced stages will encourage people to contribute in educational awakening and advancement.

(F) Recommendations of Kothari Commission (1964-66)


Kothari Commission fully endorsed the recommendation of three Committees

(i) the National Committee on Education for Women headed by Smt. Durga Bai Deshmukh 

(ii) Recommendations by Hansa Mehta Committee

(iii) Recommendations of Bhaktavatsalam Committee.

The Commission suggested strategies for the development of women education:

1. To emphasize the special programmes recommended by the National Committee of Women's Education.

2. To give attention to the education of girls for expansion and improvement in education.

The committee further suggested certain action which should be taken on following lines :

(i) Closing the Existing Gap: A determined effort should be made to face the difficulties involved and to close the existing gap between the education of men and women.

(ii) Preparing Special Schemes : Special schemes should be made along with funds.


(iii) Setting up a Special Machinery : Both at the Centre and in the States there should be a special machinery to look after the eduction of girls and women. It should bring together officials and non-officials in the planning and implementation of programmes for women's education.

Kothari Education Commission made the following recommendations:

1. Education of Girls at Primary Stage : The education of girls should be given special attention for the fulfilment of constitutional directive

2. Education of Girls at Secondary Stage: At this stage efforts should be made to accelerate and expand girl's education. Emphasis should be placed for establishing separate schools for girls. Moreover facilities like hostels, scholarships and vocational courses should be provided.

3. Differentiation of Curricula for Boys and Girls : There should be no differentiation of curricula. Home Science should be introduced but not as a compulsory subject. Study of Mathematics and Science should be encouraged


4. Education of Women at University Stage : There should be a provision of scholarships as well as suitable but economical hostel accommodation. Separate colleges for women may be established at undergraduate stage. However, at post-graduate stage there is no justification for separate institutes. Woman students should have free access to courses in arts, humanities, sciences and technology. Facilities for advanced training in business administration and management should also be provided.

5. Women Teachers : Employment of women teachers should be encouraged at all stages. They should be given special allowances and residential accommodation particularly in rural areas.

(G) Provisions of National Policy of Education (1986)


National Policy of Education (1986) laid emphasis on raising the status of women through education in the country. In 1986 a pioneering programme for empowerment of women was designed. It is a Dutch-assisted project named "Mahila Samakhya'.

(H) Mahila Samakhya

It literally means women's equality through education. It is a women's empowerment project which does not aim at service delivery but seeks to bring about a change in women's perception about themselves and that of society in women's traditional roles. It aims at creating an environment for women to seek knowledge and information in order to make informed choices and create circumstances in which women can learn at their own pace, and rhythm. The project articulated a 10-point agenda which will undertake strategies for spreading women education:

1. The role of project functionaries, officials and other agencies is facilitative and non- directive.

2. Women participants in a village determine the form, nature, content and timing of all in their village.

3. Planning, decision making and evaluation process at all levels are accountable to the collective village women.

4. Education is not to be confused with mere literacy.


5. An 'environment of learning' should be created. Women's priorities for learning must always be respected.

6. The educational process and methodology must be based on respect for women's existing.knowledge, experience and skill.

7. The respect and equality, the time and space, the room for individual uniqueness and variation must be experienced in every component of the project.

8. Women should be given time, support and catalysis to gain greater control over their lives

This project States that education can be used as an agent of basic change in the status of women.

(I) National Policy on Education (1992)


This policy made certain commitments for the empowerment of women. The special provisions for women have been interpreted in the following schemes:

1. The operation Black Board Scheme provides 50% of the teachers recruited in future should be women.

2. Under Non-Formal Education (NTE), 90% assistance is given for NIE centres exclusively for girls. More facilities should be provided at these centres.Contemporay

3. Efforts are being made to ensure that at least one third of the students in Navodaya Vidyalayas should be girls. Free education should be imparted to girls

4. In the Total Literacy Campaigns (TLCs) women are a special focus. Moreover the involvement of women has been increased over 60% in such carmpaignsin Navodaya and Kendriya Vidyalayas.

(J) Programme of Action (1992)


This programme has highlighted the use of Research Studies in the Area of Education for Women's Equality and Empowerment. This programme aims at investigating and removing structural, cultural or attitudinal cause of under discrimination and thus empowering women to achieve effective participation in all areas of national or international development. The four dimensions to be supported are:

1. Research for the advancement of above aims.

2. Teaching to change present attitudes and values of men and women to have concern for gender equality.

3. Training of teachers, decision makers, administrators and planners to enable them to play a positive role for gender equality.

4. Extension or direct involvement of institutions in women's development activities among the community


Thus, we find that one of the recommendations of National Policy on Education (1986) by the Government of India is to promote empowerment of women through the agency of education and it is considered to be a land mark in the approach to women's education.

Literacy Mission is another positive step towards educational of illiteracy in the age group of 15-35 years. Women education has assumed special significance in the context of idia's planned development, as it is incorporated in every Five-year plan as the major gramme fo: the development of women. Universalization of elementary education, enrolment and retention of girls in the schools, promotion of balwadies and crutches, raising number of schools and colleges of arts, science, and professional for girls, politechniques, girls hostels, multipurpose institutions arid adult education programmes are some of the steps being taken by both Central and State governments in India to boost-up women's education.

Delors Commission Report

Hartog Committee 1929

Traditional and Constitutional rights of women after independence of India